By Cosmas Omegoh, Lagos
The Catholic Archbishop of Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev Dr Alfred Adewale Martins, has commiserated with State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the families of the victims of the 21-storey building collapse on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.
In a release signed by the Director of Social Communications, of the archdiocese, Rev Fr Anthony Godonu, Archbishop Martins also sympathised with all those who sustained injuries as a result of the building disaster. The reverend said such an unfortunate incident and similar cases could have been prevented with proper regulation and strict monitoring by authorities.
The archbishop described the several incidents of collapsed buildings in Lagos State in recent times and other parts of the country as alarming and called for closer monitoring of those involved in the construction industry so as to curb the use of inferior materials and other unprofessional practices often associated with the industry practitioners. He called on regulatory agencies to reject the culture of compromise on standards, which ultimately undermines the integrity of buildings and result in avoidable death and injury.
The archbishop welcomed the idea of a three-day mourning period and hoped that it would make the citizens reflect on the value of human life so that no one would engage in practices and activities that would jeopardise human life and dignity anymore. He expressed delight that the government set up an independent panel of inquiry made up of professionals outside of government, saying it would inspire the sort of confidence that the result of their inquiry may throw up.
‘We hope that as the panel unravels the immediate and remote causes of the collapse; it would also identify ways of ensuring that we do not experience such disasters again while those culpable for this one would be brought to book,’ he stated.
Archbishop Martins prayed for the happy repose of the souls of the dead, quick recovery for the injured, and consolation for the families and friends who are in mourning at this time.